The Top 10 Tricks to Reduce No-Shows in Your Doctor’s Office

You may run the most organized doctor’s office in the nation, but patients are still going to no-show on you. Patients usually don’t need to cancel their appointments at the last minute. They just forget to keep you informed and leave your time slot empty. These no-shows are taking valuable time and money out of your practice. So let’s take a good look at some simple techniques to significantly reduce no-shows in your medical office.

  1. Be careful to schedule accurately, avoid double-booking patients in a single time slot. Nobody likes to feel disrespected by sitting in the waiting room for too long if both patients show up for the same time appointment.
  2. If your staff is trying to manually call patients for reminders, that is taking a lot of time during the day.  Remember if your staff gets busy, and they miss one or more calls to your patients, that could likely turn into one or more no-shows!  An automated reminder system that reliably sends reminders to 100% of your patients will reduce your no-shows.
  3. If you are sending just phone call appointment reminders, try sending text appointment reminders.  The vast majority of patients have cell phones these days and might appreciate and respond better to a text reminder.
  4. If you’re only sending a single reminder one day ahead, try sending a second reminder two days ahead – mix it up a little bit.  Send a phone call two days ahead and a text reminder one day ahead.  This gives your patients two chances to let you know if they need to cancel or reschedule.  And two reminders to make sure they show up to that appointment!
  5. If a patient does happen to cancel or even no-show his or her appointment, you cannot afford to wait to be called back. Be sure to call (or text) the patient the very next day with a Missed Appointment Notice.  This will help your patients realize you are serious about your no-show policy.
  6. If you have no-shows, you can reduce their impact on your office by creating a list of patients who can come into your office on short notice. They can often fill empty time slots, preventing you from losing money.
  7. It never hurts to create a strict no-show policy. Regardless of your no-show fees and policies, you should always create some kind of policy to share with your patients. It’s very important to stick to your no-show policy. Otherwise, patients will know you’re not serious and start no-showing again.
  8. Create a clear policy on no-shows and add that to your new-patient intake paperwork.  Have your patients sign off on it so it’s clear they understand the policy. That way, patients cannot complain when you stick to your policy down the road.
  9. Depending on your practice, you might be able to ask patients to prepay before the next time they come in. You may be amazed at how few no-shows your office will experience.
  10. Schedule each of your appointments appropriately. Keep in mind that some of your patients rely on public transportation to visit their doctors. It cannot hurt to remind them to check the bus, train, and subway schedules to make sure they will be on time to their appointments.

While no-shows are bound to occur at any doctor’s office, using the best appointment reminder system available can always save you valuable time and money. Following the right tips, more of your patients are bound to show up on time for each of their appointments. Rely on 1800 Notify to handle all your dentists, doctors, physicians, physical therapists, and hospitals scheduling needs.